Become a man – not an easy task.
It is a ceremony of initiation into manhood in the forests of Senegal unlike any other tests the limits of endurance and strength of the person. The ritual lasts for months in Senegal, where people risk their lives deep in the sacred forest. The purpose of the ritual known as “Bookout” — to introduce young people into society.While men are in the forest, women are forbidden to contact them. However, young girls are allowed to bring them small gifts of food.
Organized by senior members of the community, the event and the ceremony attracts families from all over the region.
Men in the village of Bomb in Casamance in Senegal, to wear a special outfit before they head to the forest for initiation into manhood.
Capacity power: two men are preparing for a big trip to the forest.
Before entering the forest men shave. From that moment they can’t touch or see the woman until they get back.
Photo: Rick hunter, respected in society Marabout. He is a spiritual and physical healer in the village.
Demba pours Holy water containing several kinds of herbs as part of good good-luck ritual. It is hoped that this ritual will remove the evil eye and solve personal problems.
A man has his endurance, piercing the needle through the nose before entering the forest.
A man demonstrates his physical and spiritual strength with a sharp knife before entering the forest. Special root of amulets (Gris-Gris) are used to provide head protection.
The boy looks tired after dancing and fighting in the celebrations in front of the entrance to the forest.
A man demonstrates his physical and spiritual strength during a struggle with a sharp knife.
The man dances in front of the forest, with the support of male relatives.
Two men wielding knives, they hurt themselves to prove their strength in front of the entrance to the forest.
While the men in the woods, women are forbidden to contact them. However, little girls are allowed to bring them small gifts of food.
While the men went into the forest, their families live together as one community in the village.
In idle mode: photo shows the kitchen of a family awaiting the return of her son from the forest.
Homecoming: women look forward to the rain, to see who of their sons, husbands and brothers survived.
Return home: after returning from the woods the heads of the men covered and they are now accepted in the village , where they prepared meals and expecting women. Unfortunately, four people were killed during the ceremony.
The path to maturity: initiated nine guys gathered together for a group photo in Casamance after the completion of the rite.
Exhausted people who survive in the woods, are considered to be blessed and dedicated to these men. The woman in the photo bring them food and water.
The father of a young man who died after a lightning strike in the woods, mourning his deceased son. Spiritual leaders will investigate the reason that caused his death.
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